Legal Dictionary

constructive eviction

Legal Definition of constructive eviction

Related terms

Definition of constructive eviction


constructive eviction (plural constructive evictions)

  1. (law): breach of a landlord/tenant relationship that occurs when the landlord does not order the tenant to leave the property, but allows the property occupied by the tenant to fall into such poor condition that it can no longer be lived in.

Further reading

Constructive eviction is a term used in the law of real property to describe a circumstance in which a landlord either does something or fails to do something that he has a legal duty to provide (e.g. the landlord refuses to provide heat or water to the apartment), rendering the property uninhabitable. A tenant who is constructively evicted may terminate the lease and seek damages.

To maintain an action for damages, the tenant must show that:

  • the uninhabitable conditions (substantial interferences) were a result of the landlord's actions (not the actions of some third party) and
  • that the tenant vacated the premises in a reasonable time.

A tenant who suffers from a constructive eviction can claim all of the legal remedies available to a tenant who was actually told to leave.


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1.     landed property
2.     common stock
3.     lex situs
4.     lex causae
5.     lex fori
6.     status quo
7.     buggery
8.     conclusive presumption
9.     interlocutory
10.     writ of seizure and sale